Realtors’ websites (and a lack of blogs)
The 2011 NAR Member Guide reports that nearly two thirds of all Realtors have had a website for at least five years, half use social media and 10% blog.
While these numbers are rising over the years, it is only an illusion that every Realtor and their dog are blogging and using social media- 90% of all dues paying members do not blog. Let that sink in… there’s room for success in the real estate blogging world and although many have been blogging for years, most simply rely on a static website.
Static real estate websites
NAR reports that that most common information on Realtor websites is a Realtor’s own listings and that Realtors spend a median of $250 to maintain a website per year.
An annual maintenance of $250 is fairly low given that a quality IDX alone is more than $250 per year. We do not believe that the hours potentially put into maintaining a website are accounted for which of course are not free (yet they are subjective). Based on this statistic, does the industry expect to only pay $250 per year for a quality dedicated website and blog?
ROI of real estate websites
NAR members average three inquiries (or 3% of their business) from their website. This number is drastically low given the amount of effort and money potentially put into this marketing vertical and also unveils the blunder of templated websites coded in 1997 that are being sold in red, white, or blue in 2011.
There is a lot of room for improvement here and given that almost all real estate searches start online, if Realtors don’t invest more (time or money) into their websites, they will not be the first point of contact, rather a media company syndicating listings will.
The silver lining is that Realtors using smartphones is up to 75% of membership, a rise of 34% since 2009 and what we believe to be a positive step for an industry whose average age is 56.
Although use of smartphones, websites and social networking are on the rise, the lack of return appears to be extremely low. Many will likely either give up leaving room for those who are serious and others will make the investment to turn it over to a professional given the coverage of modern tech tools and a rising understanding of the potential of web tools.